The Walt Disney Company announced today that they have acquired Lucasfilm, LTD from George Lucas for $4.05 Billion in which Disney is paying half in cash and 40 million shares of Disney Stock. The press release can be read below:
Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction.Â Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the considerationÂ in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing.Â The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
â€œLucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,â€ said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. â€œThis transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content includingÂ Star Wars,Â one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disneyâ€™s unique and unparalleledÂ creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.â€
â€œFor the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to seeÂ Star Warspassed from one generation to the next,â€ said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm.Â â€œItâ€™s now time for me to passÂ Star WarsÂ on to a new generation of filmmakers.Â Iâ€™ve always believed thatÂ Star WarsÂ could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.Â Iâ€™m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization,Â Star WarsÂ will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.Â Disneyâ€™sÂ reach and experience giveLucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.â€
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and â€œevergreenâ€Â Star WarsÂ franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production.Â Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years.Â Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.
Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.Â Additionally she will serve as the brand manager forÂ Star Wars, working directly with Disneyâ€™s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise.Â Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on newÂ Star Warsfeature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant.Â Â Star WarsÂ Episode 7is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue theStar WarsÂ saga and grow the franchise well into the future.
The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them thatÂ already includes successful integration ofÂ Star WarsÂ content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.
Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilmâ€™s legendaryÂ Star WarsÂ franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term.Â Â Star WarsÂ resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney toÂ deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks.Â Â Star WarsÂ feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has madeÂ Star WarsÂ one of the worldâ€™sÂ top product brands,Â and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disneyâ€™s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.
The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disneyâ€™s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the companyâ€™s unique ability to fullyÂ develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value.Â Adding Lucasfilm to Disneyâ€™s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the companyâ€™s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the worldâ€™s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.
The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions.Â The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.
In the last decade the Walt Disney Company has acquired some major studios in the entertainment industry with the purchase of Pixar from Steve Jobs and Marvel Entertainment and the huge success of this years Marvel’s The Avengers. George Lucas talks about the future of the Star Wars universe in a video released on StarWars.com earlier today.